Since retreating from Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel has enforced strict economic sanctions on the territory. After Israel’s attack early this week on a flotilla trying to run the blockade, the hardships faced by Palestinians in Gaza have become a focus of world outrage. Yet this story, from Germany’s Der Spiegel, shows how Hamas often slows and blocks aid shipments. The autocratic rulers of Gaza make sure supporters of their rivals, the Fatah party, get little or nothing. Hamas supporters are rewarded with ample aid goods. As well, Hamas demands that shipments be delivered in their entirety, rather than bit by bit, to ensure the building materials are handed over. Israel tries to stop cement and steel from getting in because Hamas can use them for rebuilding military facilities. Like everything in the Middle East, the situation is far from straightforward.